How to appoint a managing director

Bringing in an effective managing director (MD) to run your business will give you more time for strategic direction. Without being bogged down with the day-to-day running of the company, you can concentrate on developing sales leads or planning future expansion. There will also be implications for you, the company and employees. This guide outlines some things to consider.

  • Direction of the business
  • Internal options, obvious candidates
  • Looking outside the business
  • Equity, salary, financial

Direction of the business

Looking to expand into new markets isn't easy with the day-to-day minutiae of the business to attend to. Or maybe sales potential isn't being realised because you're too busy on time-consuming human resources issues. Bringing in an MD can help free you up. It might be that new markets are starting to open and you want to take advantage in the medium term.

  • Are you busy getting nowhere?
  • Are you missing opportunities?
  • Are there new markets you should be looking into?

Internal options, obvious candidates

Promoting a trusted senior manager to MD could be a business masterstroke, as well as freeing up your time. It could produce a renewed motivation within the business, especially if the knock-on effect is other people being promoted. Elevating the sales director to MD might give you the chance to bring in a new sales director with specific expertise in a sector or country.

  • Feel-good factor
  • Chance to bring in new staff
  • Free up time


Looking outside the business

Executive search firms are one method of finding a new MD. They will either have relevant potential clients on their books or will advertise on your behalf for a specific person. Costs vary and some can be pricey, but you get what you pay for - plus you don't have to wade through applications and interviews. Alternatively it might be worth flicking through your contacts books and sounding out industry colleagues - it will save you money and might mean you get someone you already know.

  • Executive search firms
  • Your contacts book
  • Industry colleagues

Looking outside the business

Attracting top staff will cost you. Not just the search but also in terms of salary or the sort of remuneration package they will be looking for. Offering equity, or a share in the business, can be attractive but will obviously cost you. See what the going rate in your sector is. Ask around. Speak to an employment agency.

  • Equity
  • Going rate
  • Contact an employment agency

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